- Lundbeck, a Danish company that makes neurology drugs, intends to grow its pipeline and U.S. footprint through the acquisition of Abide Therapeutics.
- For $250 million upfront, Lundbeck takes control of Abide and its drug discovery platform focused on serine hydrolases, a diverse enzyme class that accounts for roughly 1% of all proteins in mammals, according to Abide's CEO. The target company's lead candidate is meant to regulate an enzyme in the endocannabinoid system, and is in clinical testing for pain, Tourette syndrome and levodopa-induced dyskinesia.
- The deal, expected to close before the end of June, also hands Lundbeck a research hub in La Jolla, California. Terms hold that Abide could receive as much as $150 million more upon completion of certain development and sales milestones.
Lundbeck has experienced its fair share of setbacks. In Alzheimer's, for instance, the company shelved its lead candidate idalopirdine after missing the primary endpoints of three late-stage studies. Another Lundbeck drug more recently flunked a Phase 3 trial evaluating it in patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia.
Setbacks haven't stopped Lundbeck from investing, however. Last year, the company agreed to purchase Prexton Therapeutics for 100 million euros upfront — a deal that added more central nervous system drugs to its pipeline, including a Phase 2 asset targeting the side effects of levodopa therapy for Parkinson's disease.
Before the second quarter closes out, Lundbeck expects to wrap another CNS drugmaker into its business as well. CEO Deborah Dunsire touted Abide's "differentiated chemo-proteomic platform" in a May 6 statement, arguing that it will help Lundbeck identify and advance a range of brain disease treatments.
Those goals are reflected in Abide's lead compound, ABX-1431, which inhibits a serine hydrolase called monoacylglycerol lipase. Lundbeck said the compound could address multiple psychiatric and neurological indications, with the an initial focus on Tourette syndrome and neuropathic pain.
A Phase 2 study of ABX-1431 in adults with Tourette syndrome or chronic motor tic disorder has a primary completion date set for October.
Lundbeck said it may expand Abide's platform to additional enzymes in the serine hydrolase class.
For 2018, Lundbeck reported revenue of 18.1 billion Danish krones (about $2.9 billion), a 5% increase year over year driven by Abilify Maintena (aripiprazole), Brintellix/Trintellix (vortioxetine) and a couple other products. Lundbeck over at least the last two years has seen 63% of total revenue come from North American markets.